Unusual Triple Crown Begins with Belmont
Photo courtesy of Eclipse Sportswire
By Emily Shields for TVG
The 2020 Triple Crown kicks off in unusual fashion at Belmont Park on Saturday, where for the first time in history the Belmont Stakes will start the series. The $1 million race has been reduced to 1 1/8 miles from 1 ½ miles owing to the lack of prep races during the COVID-19 pandemic, and it will be run without spectators or owners in attendance.
Despite all the disparities, it is still the 2020 Belmont Stakes (G1), and an important race on the calendar. Tiz the Law has been installed as the 6-5 morning line favorite, and will be out to get revenge for his connections.
Third in the 2003 Belmont Stakes with Triple Crown hopeful Funny Cide, owners Sackatoga Stable and trainer Barclay Tagg are back with Tiz the Law, a sophomore son of Constitution out of the Tiznow mare Tizfiz. Tiz the Law drew post eight in a 10-horse field, and is rightfully favored after winning four of his five starts, including the Grade 1 Curlin Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park March 28. Manny Franco will be back aboard the bay colt, who was also a Grade 1 winner over the course last year.
Starting against him are nine rivals including 9-2 Sole Volante. The son of Karakontie is coming off a one-mile allowance score at Gulfstream Park June 10 for trainer Patrick Biancone. He has won four of six starts, including the Sam F Davis (G3), then was upset as a heavy favorite in the Tampa Bay Derby (G2) in March. Luca Panici will ride.
Tap It to Win drew the rail. The son of Tapit is trained by Mark Casse, who won last year’s Belmont with Sir Winston. Tap It to Win was frustrating last year, running 10th in a pair of stakes after breaking his maiden in good form at Saratoga. He has improved considerably in 2020, winning a pair of allowance races including a 1 1/16-mile event over this track June 4. John Velazquez will ride.
Max Player is already a winner over the nine-furlong distance of the Belmont after taking the Withers (G3) at Aqueduct on February 1. The son of Honor Code is seeking to make trainer Linda Rice the first female trainer to win the Belmont. Max Player, who will have Joel Rosario aboard for the first time, worked a very sharp five-furlong bullet on June 3, going in 1:00.3.
Dr Post is one of two runners for Todd Pletcher, both by Quality Road. This $400,000 purchase has won two in a row, both at Gulfstream Park. He took the Unbridled Stakes over 1 1/16 miles April 25 under Irad Ortiz, Jr., who will be aboard again for this.
Pneumatic, Modernist, Farmington Road, Fore Left, and Jungle Runner complete the field. Wager on the Belmont Stakes at TVG.com.
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